VW Official Says "Think Blue" Chattanooga Factory Is World Model

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Volkswagen's Think Blue Factory in Chattanooga will serve as the blueprint for all new plants worldwide and has become a benchmark for environmental efficiency for all existing plants,  Dr. Jan Spies, Volkswagen AG head of factory planning, said at the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City, Mich.

, on Wednesday.

Dr. Spies said Volkswagen is aiming to reduce its energy consumption by 25 percent and increase the renewable energy it uses by 2018 as part of the global Volkswagen Think Blue program. This applies especially to energy consumption, waste volumes, solvent emissions, water consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, he said. As Volkswagen AG builds new plants -- currently seven in China and an Audi plant in Mexico -- designers are using the Chattanooga plant as a sample, he stated.

Highlighting examples, Dr. Spies discussed the paint shop, which has one less spray booth and dryer than has been customary in traditional paint shops and doesn't need to use a primer coat of paint. This process alone reduces energy consumption by more than 20 percent. Volkswagen Chattanooga was the first plant to implement this energy-efficient paint process, and the method is being copied in Volkswagen plants around the world. Other energy efficient highlights of the plan include: The capturing of rainwater to cool equipment and flush toilets, six-inch insulation, and a newly added field of 33,600 solar panels that supply about 12 percent of the factory's power.

The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga was the first automobile factory worldwide to receive platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the US Green Building Council. Platinum certification confirms compliance with the most demanding standards for sustainable, environmentally compatible production.

"Through the growing efficiency and productivity of our plants, the Volkswagen brand is already making key contributions to the achievements of Group strategic targets for 2018," Dr. Spies said. "Sustainable, efficient production is a clear, competitive advantage. With its Think Blue. Factory. initiative, the Volkswagen brand is pursuing a clear strategy which pools all environmental activities at our plants throughout the world. Our ambitious targets for sustainable vehicle production have now been defined in a way which is clear and comprehensible for our customers."


CBL Closes Long-Term Fixed-Rate Loan Secured By Ambassador Town Center

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. on Thursday announced that it closed on a non-recourse $47.7 million loan secured by Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette, La. The seven-year loan bears a fixed interest rate of 3.22 percent and was provided by a new institutional lender. Proceeds from the loan were primarily used to retire the existing construction loans with an aggregate balance ... (click for more)

First Tennessee Bank Presents $50,000 Check To Ancla Insurance And Services

First Tennessee Bank’s Chattanooga Community Development Manager Tracee Smith and Cleveland Community President Mike Griffin presented Ancla Insurance and Services President Beth Underwood with a check in the amount of $50,000 at First Tennessee’s downtown office. The funds donated by First Tennessee will be used to enhance Ancla’s onsite computer lab and build on its lifestyle ... (click for more)

Preserving 90-Year-Old Grammar School Just One Of Challenges Facing Town, Signal Council Told

Rather than spend millions upgrading Signal Mountain’s historic grammar school so it can continue to house the Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC), it would make more sense to incorporate that project into a larger multi-pronged one that would solve several issues facing the community, according to town manager Boyd Veal.   For example, Mr. Veal said, the current ... (click for more)

Firefighters Put Out Fire In Compost Pile At City's Wood Recycling Center

Chattanooga firefighters were called to a fire at the city's wood recycling center on N. Hawthorne Street around noon on Sunday. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said the smoke and flames could be seen from several miles away.   Firefighters with five fire companies worked to get the blaze under control, using master streams from two aerials and some hand-held hoselines. The ... (click for more)

Improvements Needed At Entrance To Wilcox Tunnel

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention to a city traffic issue that needs to be addressed immediately, the sooner the better. I can see no large cost factor.   Recently, while as a concerned citizen, removing trash and litter from the entry/exit area of the Wilcox Tunnel on the side that runs into Chamberlain Avenue, I fully realized that this area could ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)